Occasionally we are sent wine samples and asked to taste with a group of others online and trade questions and comments while we are doing the tasting. It is a lot of fun trading tasting notes with others while we are all drinking the same wine. Usually the wine maker is also online to tell us about the wines and answer our questions. Tonight we had that opportunity again. Our friend Dave came over along with George and Gail, good friends and owners of our local wine shop, Fine Wines of Stockton. I set up the laptop with an external monitor so everyone could see and join in.
We had three wines to taste from Double Decker, a Wente Vineyards property. Double Decker is a brand featuring easy to open and easy to drink wines. It was originally Tamas Estates and has been renamed to Double Decker. If you have been drinking Tamas Estate wines you will remember they had a Tamas Double Decker Red. I think it is a fun name to go along with some fun wines.
The wines we tasted were the 2010 Double Decker Pinot Grigio, the 2010 Double Decker Zinfandel and the 2009 Double Decker Red Blend. All the bottles come with screw caps instead of corks and all the wines are from sustainable vineyards and carry the California appellation. Along with the Double Decker name their motto is “Hop on the Bus!”. The winemaker, Karl Wente described how each wine was made and what he was trying to accomplish. He also added a little note on what music to pair with each wine. All of the wines retail for $9.99 and should be available nationally on May 1.
The first wine we tasted was the 2010 Double Decker Pinot Grigio (13% alc.). The grapes for this wine came from the Santa Lucia Highlands. As it has not been on any oak the wine was a very light yellow. The nose was floral showing the
3% Viognier and 4% Reisling that was added to the Pinot Grigio. The wine was crisp showing good acid and there was nice fruit flavors, some tangerine along with some floral flavors. There was a long flavorful finish. Karl paired it with a Mozart Concerto.
Next we tasted the 2009 Double Decker Red Blend (13% alc.). The Double Decker Red Blend consists of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Barbera. The wines in the blend were fermented in stainless steel and aged in a combination of neutral oak and stainless steel. There was a little vanilla along with blueberries and ripe dark fruit in the nose. Gail says cough syrup finish. The flavor was dark fruit and some spiciness, you can pick out the Barbera if you concentrate. Well balanced with pleasant light tannins. Nice QPR for a $10 wine. Pairs with 7 piece band.
Last we tasted the 2010 Double Decker Zinfandel (14.5% alc.). This wine was aged for thirteen months in barrels from France, Eastern Europe and America. The barrels were first, second and third use barrels. These grapes were sourced from the Livermore Valley. There was an earthy nose with medium red fruit. The flavors were medium fruit, spice and it had a black pepper finish. This was not an overripe jammy wine like a lot of Central Valley Zins. The wine really showed off the true Zinfandel flavor instead of being covered up with oak or too ripe of fruit. Pair with Led Zeppelin.
All three wines are very approachable, flavorful, drink now offerings. Karl really hit the mark with what he wanted to do. At $9.99 each they have great QPR.
Disclaimer: These wines were provided to us as tasting samples.